by Jackie Dale
Jackie is a part of Cat House On The Kings in Parlier and does a monthly column on the Cat House here at KRL.
The Cat House on the Kings will be holding an online fundraiser from June 26 through July 8 because the unbelievable onslaught of kittens is quickly draining the coffers. Every year you think it will get better because The Cat House has fixed so many cats. But in fact, 2017 has been one of the worst years on record. An astounding number of kittens have come through the door, and people call every single day with kitten problems. It is disheartening to have to turn people away. The online fundraiser will hopefully help replenish the old bank account, so we can, of course, help more kittens and cats. Because that is what we do.
And is it ever too early to start thinking about the next Open House this fall? It’s only four months away, and that gives everyone an opportunity to decide on, make, and/or solicit an item for the silent auction. As some of you may know, due to the immense amount of time and effort required to produce an event of this size, The Cat House has elected to hold only one Open House per year. That Open House will be held each fall just in time to do some holiday shopping. However, since there will only be the one per year, we really need to make it count. Start thinking about those auction donations now, please!
Fresh Step 10K Split!
Fresh Step Cat Litter is having a promotional contest that could net you a bunch of cash. When you purchase Fresh Step Cat Litter, it comes with “Paw Points” on each box. For only 25 Paw Points you will receive up to 3 chances to win $5,000 for yourself and $5,000 for your favorite shelter, which hopefully is us! Fresh Step makes an awesome product and they make frequent donations of litter to us. You can only imagine how much litter 800+ cats and kittens can go through!
It’s Really Hot Here
As the temperatures reach into the triple digits, everyone needs to make certain that their dogs, cats, birds, whatever pet you have, are properly prepared for the searing heat. If you can’t bring your pet indoors with you, it’s particularly important to provide your outdoor pets with plenty of water and shade. For dogs, particularly ones who tend to knock over their water buckets, a kiddie pool is essential. Not only can your dog cool off in the pool, it provides an emergency source of water should something happen to their water bucket. I had a neighbor whose chained dog constantly tipped over his bucket. Every time I drove past, the bucket was on its side. I anonymously delivered a kiddie pool along with a note saying it was a gift for their dog. Wetting the ground provides additional cooling for pets as well. Freeze water in milk containers, cut off the container and place the frozen blocks in the water bowls/buckets to provide a refreshing drink for longer periods of time.
If you know you have community cats in your area, please help them out by putting out a bowl of water in an accessible area. Your small act of kindness could mean the difference between life and death for a hot, thirsty kitty.
One night I had stopped to feed my small colony behind a local mini mall. I try not to feed after dark but circumstances prevented me from going earlier. I got the bowl of dry food and jug of water from my trunk and turned around see a member of the local police force had silently glided up behind me. I just stood there for a moment thinking to myself, “I wonder which way this is going to go?” So he says, “What are you doing?” “Uh, I, Um, I am feeding the stray cats that live back here.” He then asked me if I worked at the business I was behind. “No,” I said. “An employee used to feed them, but she was transferred to another store, so I have taken over for her.” (This woman made the effort to find someone to take over her duties before she was transferred and for that she gets “2 snaps and a bag of chips.”) “Well, that’s very nice of you” said Mr. Policeman, as I breathed a sigh of relief that he did not tell me not to feed them. He advised me to be careful and drove off. Thank you, Mr. Policeman, for being a stand-up guy.
I feed my cats in a community tray, and of course, a bowl for water. I try to keep under the radar by keeping my feeding stations neat and unobtrusive as possible. Maintaining a messy feeding station only invites unwanted attention and the ire of nearby homes and businesses. My feeling is that if they don’t notice it and it’s not bothering them, most people just go about their business and leave the cats alone.
It has been a busy month for me and kittens, too. The Selma Animal Control had so many kittens and were ill equipped to handle them since they are only supposed to accept dogs, so now I have 12 kittens at home and eight in three different foster homes. Not all from Selma, though, a couple came from Fresno City College and a couple from a gas station in Tulare. Kittens are a lot of work. The groups are kept separated to prevent spread of disease and parasites, and hands are washed between handling groups. At one point I had five bottle babies. Another group of bottle babies went to a friend who had a nursing mom cat. The kitten’s accommodations must be cleaned and sanitized frequently as well as cleaning up the kittens themselves. We also had a run of diarrhea which brings additional mess. I purchased a large net-type cat tent so the kittens could enjoy some outside time which also made it easier to clean up after them.This past month I have performed TNR at a business in Kingsburg, a local elementary school, a local fruit packing facility, and two private citizens. I was also asked to attend a meeting in nearby Sanger for a group that wants to start a TNR program in their town. I will be helping them through education, consultation, and practical application. Simply put: I’m going to show them how to trap cats. But it’s more than just trapping. There must be a plan. The traps must be monitored for their safety, and the cats often need to be housed overnight. It sounds simple enough, but it can be more complicated than it seems. For example, how to get food and water inside the trap without the cat escaping.
This coming month will be slow as far as trapping. My next appointments are at the end of July, and in fact, it is just too hot to trap unless we really need to do so. So I will continue caring for my tribe of kittens and work on getting them into furever homes.
Check out more animal rescue & pet related articles, including more Cat House columns, in our Pet Perspective section and remember that if you buy an ad in KRL you can designate 10% of the ad price to go to the Cat House.